MOXEE, Wash. — Hops continue to be on the rise in the U.S. and across the globe as consumer tastes and demand for beer with higher hopping rates persist.
Despite a decrease in overall beer production, demand for hops continues, as signaled by hop contracts.
The U.S. acreage has grown 75.5 percent in just four years. In 2012, USDA-NASS reported the total U.S. acreage was 29,683. For 2016, acreage amplified to 52,963.
And, as reported in the International Hop Growers’ Convention April meeting, an additional 5,185 acres are anticipated, bringing the total to 58,148 acres of hops in the U.S. for 2017.
If anticipated acreage is realized, then in five years’ time, hop acreage in the U.S. will have nearly doubled.
As a result of increased contracts with breweries, hop acreage has risen 95.8 percent in five years.
In total, since 2012, the U.S. has added 28,465 acres, including the estimated acreage as reported by IHGC, and has more than 50 varieties in the ground.
“To put it into perspective, the U.S. acres added in the last five years is larger than the total acreage of any other hop-growing country in the world, outside of our own and Germany, the two largest hop-producing countries.,” said Ann George, the executive director of Hop Growers of America.
While rapid growth of acreage has some concerned about an imbalance in variety acreage as tastes change and growth in the craft segment begins to slow, growers will be looking to rebalance that over the coming years.